Uncontrolled pilot study of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Health at Every Size intervention for obese, depressed women: Accept Yourself!

Printer-friendly version
APA Citation: 

Berman, M., Morton, S., & Hegel, M. (2016). Uncontrolled pilot study of an acceptance and commitment therapy and health at every size intervention for obese, depressed women: Accept yourself. Psychotherapy, 53(4), 462-467. doi:10.1037/pst0000083

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
ACT, Depression, Obesity, Health at Every Size, weight

Depression and obesity frequently co-occur, but providing adequate treatment to depressed obese women is challenging because existing treatments for each problem in isolation are suboptimal, and treatments to address one problem may exacerbate the other. This study used an uncontrolled, pretreatment-to-posttreatment design, with 3-month follow-up, to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a novel, self-acceptance-based treatment for obese women with depression, “Accept Yourself!” Accept Yourself! is an 11-week manualized, group-based intervention that integrates Health At Every Size (an evidence-based paradigm to enhance physical health) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (an evidence-based psychotherapy often used to treat depression and eating-related concerns) to improve the physical and mental health of obese, depressed women without encouraging weight loss. Twenty-one obese women with Major Depressive Disorder received the intervention; 18 completed at least seven sessions, a minimal dose of the intervention. Depressive symptoms, depression diagnosis, physical health outcomes (including physical activity and blood pressure), and obesity-related quality of life were assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Weight was also monitored. Depression, blood pressure, and obesity-related quality of life significantly improved from pretreatment to posttreatment, and improvements were sustained over a 3-month follow-up. Participants did not gain significant weight during the intervention or at follow-up. These data, although preliminary and nonexperimental, suggest that Accept Yourself! could be a promising treatment for obese, depressed women, and support the value of larger randomized controlled trials.

This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.